BOLLWEEVILS / FREEZE, THE- "A Deadly Duo" Split 10"
LAWRENCE ARMS- "Cocktails & Dreams" 2XLP
Things Are Meaning Less BOOK (Al Burian)
Opening with a quote from punk band Black Flag ("Drink black coffee/drink black coffee/drink black coffee/and stare at the wall"), Things Are Meaning Less is a strong, funny, heartbreaking look at young, disillusioned American life. You might know Al from his zines Burn Collector and Natural Disasters, or from the band Milemarker, or his so-true-it-kicks-your-face-off column in Punk Planet. This however, is Al's collection of comics originally published in the late '90s by designer and fellow zinester Ian Lyman. From Portland to Providence, Al views his world with a dark, stoic humor. He's a Saul Bellow-ian every-man, up against the wall, suffering the blows, looking for love, and loving the metal. Like Al's issue of Burn Collector (the comic-heavy #14) the drawing here is simple, but it's the kind of simple that doesn't come with beginner's luck. The stuff here is the result of years of fighting and trouble-making, of mistakes made and life scratched out among the sticks and stones. As Al says, "These are things drawn on napkins in airports, xeroxed illicitly during work." So goes the work and world of Al Burian. Microcosm Publishing.